NEWS and NOTES:
The biggest story heading into this Saturday’s SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series event at Stockton 99 Speedway is the number of story lines heading into the race weekend:
• CONTINUED DOMINANCE: Can SRL point leader Derek Thorn of Bakersfield, CA continue his streak of track records and top 2 finishes for the fourth race in a row? Thorn has not placed outside the top two in the first three races of the 2010 SRL season (2 wins, 1 second), and has scored three consecutive qualifying track records.
• QUALIFYING WOES: 2008 SRL and two-time NASCAR Southwest Series champion Jim Pettit of has yet to qualify inside the top 10 in 2010, 12th at Roseville, 15th at Orange Show and 19th at Las Vegas. Pettit has provided a great show for the fans, as he has had to work his way to the front at each race. Pettit is third in the SRL championship standings and won the October 3, 2009 SRL race at Stockton 99.
• MOMENTUM: Coming off his dominate K&N Pro Series win last weekend in Roseburg, OR, Eric Holmes will be carrying momentum and a home track advantage into Stockton 99 this weekend.
• MORE CHAMPIONS: 2007 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Mike David will be making his first ever SRL start this weekend. David, will be in a fourth entry from Bob Strandwold Racing. 2004 SRL Champion Steve Belletto, will also be making his first SRL start in four years this Saturday night.
• SUCCESS, ONE RACE AT A TIME: Thomas Martin started the season with a one-race-at-a-time approach. Martin of Auburn, CA ran a close second to Thorn at the opener in Roseville, and has pulled together strong finishes that currently have him fourth in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series points standings.
• TIME TO REBOUND: M.K. Kanke will be on a mission this weekend, as the defending SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series champion has DNF’d twice in the first three races of 2010. He drove his RPM Motorsports #33 Chevrolet to victory at Orange Show Speedway, the one race he finished this season.
• RAIDER INVASION: Oakland Raider Super Bowl MVP / Hall of Fame wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff and linebacker Jeff Barnes who won two Super Bowls with the Raiders will be on hand for this Saturday’s SRL event as guests of Jim Pettit. It will be Biletnikoff’s second SRL race.
• HOME TRACK ADVANTAGE: Local drivers; Steve Belletto, Mike David, Jacob Gomes, Eric Holmes, Ross Strmiska and Carlos Vieira will all be bringing a home track advantage (and a heighten incentive to win) to Stockton 99 this weekend.
• MOVING: Defending Stockton 99 race winner Greg Voigt of Goleta, CA will miss his first SRL race in four seasons due to current obligations associated with re-locating his business.
• LEGENDS DEBUT: NTS Motorsports team owner Bob Newberry will make his SRL Legends Tour driving debut this weekend. Current top 3 in the SRL Legends Tour standings are Cale Kanke, Darren Amidon, and Austin Reed.
• SPONSOR DEBUT: K&N Filters the “Official Filter of the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series”, will begin their association with the SRL this weekend. The new “K&N FILTERS Young Guns Championship” will kick off this weekend.
The SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series will be in action this Saturday night at Stockton 99 Speedway, in the “Mid Valley Iron and Metals 130”.